The Heaven Book, Reader Responses, and Longing for Our Eternal Home
Over the years, we’ve received thousands of letters from readers telling us how Randy’s Heaven book has affected their lives. Not only are these stories encouraging to Randy, but they’re also an encouragement to our staff as we continue to share Randy’s writings and teachings about the eternity that awaits us because of what Christ has done on our behalf.
Randy writes, “The response to the book Heaven has been amazing. Last I heard it had sold close to 850,000 copies since its release. Big books with a lot of Bible and theology aren’t supposed to sell like that. But I tried to write it in a way that’s both true to Scripture and stimulates the imagination. I’m very grateful and humbled that God seems to be using Heaven to get people excited about the place being built for us by the Carpenter from Nazareth.”
A few weeks ago we received this email from a reader:
My 80-year-old mother went to be with the Lord on April 9. These have been a very difficult two months for my family, especially for my father, also 80, who himself just came to saving faith this past Christmas. I made the three hour trip to Mom’s hospital many times. The day before she died, I arrived to hear from her doctors that she had “between two and twenty fours” left. We had one last good conversation, and she fell asleep. My father and I sat with her all day and night. Mom’s vital signs had been steady all night long, so I decided to go to their house, take a shower, change clothes and return to the hospital.
The rural area where they live is hilly, so I had the radio on “scan” permanently, looking for some station that would come in. Out of nowhere a Focus on the Family program came on, and I recognized your voice. It was a rebroadcast about your book Heaven. You spelled out how 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us believers will be physically reunited with our departed believing loved ones, emphasizing the word “together”. You stressed this passage is specifically designed to comfort Christians facing the very circumstances I then found so trying. I immediately told my father these things when I reached her room, and he burst into tears: “That’s just what I wanted to know, if I would never be able to hold her or hug her again.” About an hour later she passed away. My wife told me later she had heard the very same radio program that morning, on her way to work. During the memorial service the preacher (without input from me) spoke on Heaven and the great reunion with loved ones from 1 Thessalonians 4, and emphasizing the word “together”. And I had independently already printed this same text on memorial cards passed out to the people there.
Randy, for myself, and on behalf of my family, especially Dad, I want to thank you so much for your book Heaven and for your message of encouragement and comfort for wounded people like us. Thank you for being receptive and used of God. In my work as a book seller I have sold thousands of copies of Heaven, including one copy I gave Dad at the service, and one copy for me. Thank you for sweetening our memories and helping to soothe our hearts during this time, and during the Celebration of Life service for my dear Mom. —S.G.
Has Randy’s Heaven book encouraged you to long for your eternal dwelling place, or helped you in the wake of a loved one’s death? We’d love to hear from you.
Looking forward to the world He has made,
Eternal Perspective Ministries
Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.